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French PM Goes All-Out Vs The Burka

REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stands behind a ban on the “burkini,” saying it’s not compatible with French values.

Six French communities have banned the full-body swimwear sometimes worn by Muslims during the summer. The burkini debate escalated last week when four people ended up in the hospital after a local took a picture of a woman in a burkini on the island of Corsica.

Witnesses say hatchets and harpoons were used in the brawl and protests erupted on the island the next day. The city of Cannes has since fined at least 10 women for for wearing burkinis.

Valls joined the debate Wednesday by supporting a ban on the burkini, which he feels represents “the enslavement of women.” He further said “the Republic must defend itself” against any provocations.

“The burkini is not a new range of swimwear, a fashion,” Valls said, according to La Provence. “It is the expression of a political project, a counter-society, based notably on the enslavement of women.”

Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the incoming head of the government’s Foundation for French Islam, urged Muslims Tuesday to act more “discreet” in public places.

“Muslims, like all French citizens, should be able to worship freely but they must also understand that in the public space where there is public interest, all citizens should make the effort to use ‘natural reason,’” Chevènement told Le Parisien.

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